|Another victory for the Spaniard
Photo: Steve English
Moto3 kicked off the Grand Prix action in Mugello, with another race worthy of the entrance fee alone.
Lap after lap the lead changed constantly, eventually it was to be Romano Fenati who crossed the line first, victor in the closest Moto3 race ever.
Valentino Rossi’s young hope took the Sky Racing VR46 bike over the line first courtesy of some well timed slipstreaming and the smallest of gaps left by his podium rivals.
A video replay was needed to settle second. Alex Rins, who in a close field had been able to recover form a terrible start almost instantly, was given the second place, leaving his fellow Spaniard Isaac Vinales in third for the second consecutive round for Team Calvo.
The thriller of a race meant that the top seven were covered by just half a second. At the start of the last lap ten bikes had been in contention.
Championship leader Jack Miller got his Red Bull KTM Ajo in a tangle with Miguel Oliveira, the resulting sit up on the bike catching Alex Marquez and also taking out Enea Bastianini.
The Portuguese Mahindra rider went on to collect fourth. Miller went on to collect two penalty points after the incident was reviewed by race direction. The teenagers lead in the title hunt also took a battering from Fenati’s win and is down to a slim five points.
Niklas Ajo took advantage of the chaos to push forward for fifth, an excellent career best result for the Finnish rider.
Alexis Masbou had his best ever result in sixth Mugello for Ongetta-Rivacold, narrowly beating Alessandro Tonucci over the line, the second Mahindra in the top ten in seven.
After a gap the line next saw Juanfran Guevara crossing in eighth – another personal best in a race peppered with brilliant performances.
Karel Hanika rescued some points for the Red Bull KTM team with tenth, equalling his previous highest finish, Zulfahmi Khairuddin continued his comeback and was in the points again for Ongetta-AirAsia in eleventh.
Efren Vazquez astounded with a twelfth place finish. The Spaniard had been awarded a ride through penalty for a jump start but the chaos at the front allowed the pack to close enough for the SaxoPrint -RTG rider to still make an impact on the points places.
Philipp Oettl was 13th for Interwetten, Matteo Ferrari 14th for San Carlo Team Italia and Danny Kent snatched the final point on offer in 15th.
John McPhee crashed out shortly after leading a Grand Prix for the first time.
Moto2 saw the rookies initially make their mark on the championship, with early frontrunner Jonas Folger and Luis Salom leading the way.
Championship leader Tito Rabat, running a harder rear tyre, had to pull back time and places, but once he reeled in the rookies, victory look assured.
The Marc VDS riders win pushes his lead out to 22 points after setting a new lap record on the way to his third win this season.
Salom couldn’t quite match his Spanish rival, the Pons rider sealing second, while AGR rider Folger faded toward the end of the race in third.
Simone Corsi gave the Italian crowd something to shout about as his Forward Racing bike crossed the line some seconds later in fourth.
Fifth needed another video replay with Dominique Aegerter taking the position pushing out Mika Kallio by the slenderest of margins.
Johann Zarco finished seventh for AirAsia Caterham. Sam Lowes was eighth for Speed Up but only just with a rapidly advancing Maverick Vinales all over him heading to the finish. The Pons rider set his own fastest lap on the last lap of the race, having started way down in 16thon the grid.
Franco Morbidelli registered a best finish of tenth for Italtrans, with Jordi Torres unable to find a way past in eleventh for Aspar and an injury carrying Marcel Schrotter taking his Tech3 to 13th .
The final points went to Xavier Simeon and Axel Pons in 14th and 15threspectively.
Gino Rea made improvements for a more competitive race on his way to 21stfor AGT REA Racing.